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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Lazy Magnet "Why Go On?" C20 cassette

Lazy Magnet is one of those "you never know what you're going to get" acts, but you can be assured that it will always be good stuff. This tape is mainly drone/mood music, with some curious twists.

The first side definitely drops you into heavy drone territory with what sounds like an infinite-sustain vibrato keyboard note and some hissing/whistling that sometimes sounds like a tea kettle or a distant jet plane gradually taking off. It's actually well-paced for the length of the side, building (or achieving lift-off) and then gently settling again just before the side is out. Then the piece starts to fade into some guitar strumming and vocals and I almost thought this was going to transition into some kind of moan-wave/new-weird-america/retro-hippie thing. But then the side abruptly ended.

Then strangely side 2 starts off sounding like it's rewound 30 seconds and you're still in the same drone, except instead of fading into some kind of meandering hippie jam, it (thankfully) transforms instead into what sounds an awful lots like a John Carpenter soundtrack. Gradually shifting and melodic plink-plonk 80's synthesizer notes keep the tension at a slow boil. The knobs get tweaked a bit here and there and everything gets a little Moogey until the piece fades out. Then as a final head-scratcher, there's some low, distant droning and what sound like the beginning of a new piece of music begins to fade in, but the tape ends before it becomes very audible.

This is definitely background or soundtrack music, though there's a slow constant shift to everything. The mysterious end of each side also makes me wonder if my tape got dubbed wrong. Is it just a fake out, or a genuine mistake? I guess if you get a copy of this tape I can't guarantee it will sound exactly the same as what I describe, but then that would be in keeping with the Lazy Magnet anti-aesthetic. You really do never know what you will get.
Lazy Magnet on MySpace

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